Sucking on the thumb, finger, or pacifier often provides security for young babies and is completely normal. Most children naturally stop sucking on the thumb, finger, or pacifier between age 2-4. However, some children continue and long term oral habits such as these can cause issues with the teeth and jaws. These issues include tipping of the upper front teeth out toward the lip causing problems with the child's bite and problems with the formation of the developing jaws. Because of this, intervention is usually recommended if these oral habits continue beyond the age of 3.
What Can Be Done to Stop My Child's Habit?
With the support of parents and the dentist, a child can be encouraged to stop once they are old enough to understand the consequences continuing the habit can lead to for the developing teeth and jaws. If proper consultation and support do not work, the dentist may be able to construct an oral device that interferes with the sucking habit to help change the behavior.
If your child is having issues breaking the habit of sucking on the thumb, finger, or pacifier, contact your dentist at Gallery Park Dental today!